The world's most in-depth and scientific reviews of outdoor gear

Five Ten Arrowhead Review

Though we wish it had rubber on the top of the toe for toe-hooking, this is a great shoe for steep sport climbs and for precise edging on tiny holds.
Five Ten Arrowhead
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Price:  $175 List | $96.22 at Backcountry
Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  Easy on/off velcro, tight-fitting heel, edges on less than a dime, front points stand in pencil size pockets, great rubber
Cons:  Color, no rubber on top for toe hooking, uncomfortable for long periods
Manufacturer:   Five Ten
By Chris McNamara and Chris Summit  ⋅  Feb 21, 2011
  • Share this article:
76
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Edging - 20% 9
  • Cracks - 20% 6
  • Comfort - 20% 6
  • Pockets - 20% 9
  • Sensitivity - 20% 8

The Skinny

We don't likeā€¦ we love every Anasazi shoe we've ever worn. Same goes for these. We would love to have a fresh pair of these in our arsenal for those rare and intriguing climbs when the crux is all about just keeping your foot on the tiny jibs. That said, these have some stiff competition. The La Sportiva Solution has rubber on top for toe hooking and scored a little higher. The Solution could be better if you climb a lot of steep (beyond 45 degree) angled stone and often use toe hooks. The Arrowhead has a slightly more pointy toe for getting in pockets and edging and arguably has more sticky rubber. Another top competitor is the La Sportiva Miura VS which has a similar aggressive shape and edges a little better. It comes down to preference. Some people put on the Solution and say, "Wow, this shoe climbs so much better than everything else that it feels like I'm cheating." Other people put on the Anasazi and appreciate the more simple design and fit. Put these three head-to-head in the store if you can.


Our Analysis and Test Results

The New Version of the Five Ten Arrowhead Orange Crush vs. The Older Version


The Arrowhead is now available in Orange Crush, which you can see pictured below on the left; the Arrowhead (which we reviewed) is pictured on the right. We contacted 5.10 to confirm any updates that have been made to the Arrowhead; 5.10 confirms that no changes have taken place since we last reviewed the Arrowhead, other than a different colored tab on the back of the shoe.

Check out the side-by-side comparison, with the Orange Crush color pictured on the left and the older version shown on the right.
Five Ten Arrowhead
Five Ten Arrowhead

Performance Comparison




Likes


The Arrowhead uses what Five Ten calls the "next generation Anasazi last." This translates to a more aggressive and downturned toe and high arch for a more snug and precise fit. It has a similar asymmetrical (pointy toe) shape as the Anasazi VCS that focuses edging power into a small point on the tip of the toes. The difference is that the Arrowhead has a more down-turned arch which makes it more suited for short burns on steeper terrain and less suited for all day, slabs, smearing, and cracks.

These shoes excel on steep rock with small footholds where precise toe placement on tiny edges, knobs or pockets is a must. The aggressive downturned toe is for pulling on holds on very steep angles and for getting the power down on the toe even when the body weight is hanging back away from the wall.

True to legend, the rubber is super sticky. It uses Five Ten Onyxx for the sole and Mystique rubber for the rand. The idea is the Onyxx is better but truth be told, we like all the Five Ten rubber and have a hard time choosing a favorite.

Dislikes


The first dislike is trivial: we don't love the color. The orange/red mixture seems a bit bright. That said, it is personal preference and you may be saying to yourself, "Finally, a shoe that is really bright and expressive!" If you don't like the colors, it only takes a few weeks outside for the brightness to settle down with dirt and scuffing. A more major dislike: Since this shoe is designed for steep rock, it is a bummer Five Ten didn't put rubber on top of the toe like La Sportiva did on the Solution. This omission meant we often reached for the Solutions over the Arrowheads on those long roof projects and steep problems where we wanted to toe hook. If you are going to make the ultimate technical shoe for steep rock, it should have rubber on top of the toe.

A last dislike is the same for all aggressive down-turned toes: They are not that comfortable to stand around in. To get the most performance, you need to size them tight. And when they are tight, you can't leave them on for hours. Luckily, the Velcro makes them quick to get on and off fast.

Like all shoes with this shape, they are great for tiny edges but don't give you the most comfortable stance on medium and large edges. They often don't smear comfortably or as well because the tight pointy toe tip keeps the ball of your foot from touching the rock.

Best Application


These shoes are ideal for standing on small footholds that require precise toe placements. Unleash them on your projects with tiny edges, knobs, and pockets. This is a great shoe for extremely thin vertical rock to about 45 degrees, steeper sport climbs, and boulder problems. They are a bit too expensive for average gym climbing and a bit too specialized with a tight fitting toe for general all day face routes or trad climbs.

Value


These are priced similarly to all high-performance shoes: expensive. Because they are so specialized, they are only a great value if you do a lot of steep climbing and bouldering.


Chris McNamara and Chris Summit